Sunday, 21 July 2013

Thames Valley Bens

Hey buggers bloggers

The countdown is almost complete and the time is almost upon us. I've had my visa interview and I have bought all the bubblewrap Rymans had to stop my guitar being smashed into a zillion pieces in transit. All I need now is my passport back.

Er.. that's quite important, right?

I'm sure it'll turn up soon, allowing me to get in a shiny metal box with wings and be launched through the air at all the miles per hour, and if all goes to plan I'll even spend a couple of days getting some sleep, something which frequently eludes me here in Blighty. Next Friday I'll hook up with FT and his sleepy souls and the dudes from Off With Their Heads, as well as fellow Thames Valley resident Ben Morse, for what is apparently being dubbed The Thames Valley Bens Tour.

Here's the deal: touring the US is expensive. Most British acts who fly to the States do so prepared to lose a lot of money. I am no exception. With that in mind, I'm concentrating more on having a fucking brilliant time than, you know, Breaking America, so if you see me in Poughkeepsie, Portland, Brooklyn, Silver Spring, South Burlington, Ann Arbor or Madison, come say hi, and we'll high five and chat like old friends.

Meanwhile, whilst I wait for life's conundrums to resolve themselves, here's an update on stuff:

2000trees was incredible
Hands up, you knew it would be. We all did. After turning up unprepared to last year's mudfest I was going to wear wellies and a mac in the blazing sun this time around to make a point of my ill preparation, but it was too hot to go through with it. Instead I had an incredible Friday of catching up with people, some of whom I see only once every year or two. I'm definitely camping next year and you can hold me to that.

Here's a video from the set:

Special thanks to Tom Crook who, for the second year in a row, managed to not hit anything whilst driving to and from the festival.

I'm taking my Saigon to the States!
Did I mention this on here before? I am unable to take my now-retired Art & Lutherie to the States because one look at a baggage handler and it would smash itself into ten pieces, so instead the good people of Saigon guitars have given me one to take to the USA with me. This is a big deal for me. People rarely give me free things.

To celebrate, my Thames Valley Bens tag team partner and I went to the University of Reading and stood in a field when it was windy to put it through its paces. Here's the result:

Ugh. So many videos of my face on this page!

And finally.. British shows to end 2013
Upon my return from the States I imagine I will want to do two things:

1) Get some sleep
2) See some of Britain

I know it's not much, and there are a couple of shows still TBC, but here are the British shows which will take me to the end of the year:

August 18th  BRISTOL Mothers Ruin
Sept 14th  SOUTHSEA Xtra Mile Stage @ Southsea Festival [Atrium Bar]
Sept 19th  OXFORD Port Mahon
October 5th  SOUTHAMPTON Bent Brief
Nov 24th  READING Rising Sun Arts Centre [w/Franz Nicolay]
Dec 14th  YORK Black Swan

Also, if you're in the UK and near a radio this week, Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun have made it to the fringes of the Radio 1 playlist. If you hear them on there this week, do drop Radio 1 a congratulatory text for being such good eggs.

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